Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), Serum


Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), whose major source is the liver and the testis, is one of two transporters of steroid hormones in plasma. The prevailing view of the function of these proteins is to bind steroids and thus, trap them in the plasma compartment, leaving a small fraction of non-bound hormones to diffuse passively into tissues to initiate hormonal effects. In addition, SHBG binds cell membrane receptors; subsequent binding of steroid hormones to membrane bound SHBG results in signal transduction. SHBG levels are regulated by a complex of factors, including estrogens, iodothyronines and growth hormone as stimulating agents and androgens and insulin as inhibiting factors. Reduction of circulating SHBG determines an increase in the metabolic clearance rate of circulating SHBG-bound steroids, specifically testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and androstenediol (the principal active metabolite of dihydrotestosterone).


Decreased levels of SHBG are found in hyper-androgenic anovulation (polycystic ovary syndrome). Female subjects with central obesity usually have lower SHBG concentrations in comparison with their age and weight-matched counterparts with peripheral obesity.

Sample Type, Quantity & Conditions

1 ml Serum Stability: 7 Days at 2-8 °C 2 Months at -20 °C

Special Precautions

Avoid grossly haemolysed or grossly lipemic samples.

Normal Range

Male (20-49) years: 18.3-54.1 nmol/L Male ( ≥ 50) years: 20.6-76.7 nmol/L Female (20-49) years: 32.4 - 128 nmol/L Female( ≥ 50) years: 27.1 - 128 nmol/L

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